Archive for Friday, March 2, 2001

See Spot Run’ sports good-natured laughs

March 2, 2001


If you "See Spot Run," you'll also see chunks of "Big Daddy," "Home Alone 2," "102 Dalmatians" and "Rugrats"-style bathroom humor all floating in one giant comic smoothie.

It's derivative, even desperately goofy in its quest to leave no gag potential unrealized.

But you'll also be laughing so much, you probably won't care.

This good-natured movie stars David Arquette in the Adam Sandler-like role in the movie that Sandler did not make in "Little Nicky."

As Gordon the mailman, Arquette is a Peter Pan boy-man, living alone in a messy apartment. He has one friend (funny Anthony Anderson from "Me, Myself & Irene"), one group nemesis (the dogs that attack him on his route) and one yearning that drives the action (a crush on his neighbor, Stephanie, played by lovely Leslie Bibb).

When Stephanie has to leave on a business trip and the babysitter never shows up, Gordon finds himself saddled with her soulful-eyed six-year-old kid, James (Angus T. Jones), who is more mature than Gordon and which is where the Big Daddy plot begins.

A canine FBI agent (a cute Bull Mastiff, also more mature than Gordon) finds refuge in Gordon's mail truck from some organized crime thugs who want to rub him out. The kid falls in love with the dog and soon Gordon is stuck with Spot, too, the name they pick even though he doesn't have a spot on him.

Director John Whitesell, a television vet of "Cosby" and "Roseanne," keeps his pulse on the heart of the story Gordon growing up no mean feat given the blizzard of jokes and visual gags the story plows through (including a real doozy at a pet store in which it's Gordon, James, Spot, a can of helium and a lot of bubble wrap against the bad guys).

Arquette, who squares off nicely with fast-cracking Anderson, charms in a role many leagues away from "3000 Miles to Graceland." Angus T. Jones is absolutely adorable as James, the serious kid who learns how to have a little fun. And it's nice to see Michael Clarke Duncan, so tormented as the wrongly accused convict in "The Green Mile," play against type as the imposing FBI agent who blubbers at the thought of losing his dog.

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